Day 14 - 34th Street

December 23, 2014

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year. Each day I will find a gift the day brings, write about it and illustrate it.)

34th Street, Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland
Christmas was a big deal in my childhood. Once everyone had their holiday lights up outside, my family would drive around the most decorated neighborhoods, often the richest ones, as the chorus in our car repeated “Oooohh” and “Aaahhhh.” And, “Look at that one!” It was a time when ordinary houses and yards were magically transformed.

At home, we usually put electric bubbly candles in our windows and lights around our row house porch. I loved to watch the rising bubbles in the “candles” and imagine how bubbles might transform other things too. Even then, I was attuned to the effect of light and color on my environment. Familiar faces took on a different aura as colored lights reflected from them. Our eyes also lit up with the wonder of it all and the anticipation of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (which is another longer story).

As David and walked about in Hampden’s misty 34th Street tonight, I did not experience the same awe and wonder that I did as a child, but I did feel the warm memories and the sense of sharing on the street. I wonder if Hampden Christmas has now become a tradition for some families today. When our daughters were growing up, we did not ride about looking at lights but created excitement with tree decorating, cookies and carrots, and videotaping Christmas morning. Traditions are important in families; they are the glue that connects the past, present and future.

Today’s gift is Christmas lights.

You can read my other posts on this project here:

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